As of now, the only way to get final value fee (FVF) discount is through Top-rated Seller status. ebay used to give discounts to PowerSellers based on their level but they discontinued that (as part of their put-as-much-pressure-on-sellers-as-you-can philosophy) so you can get FVF 20% discount only if you’re a Top-rated Seller. It comes with another important perk and that’s getting listing promotion in Best Match searches for buy it now listings (that’s a big benefit).
Retaining TRS status is much harder than getting it. You get TRS status when you’re a PowerSeller and your DSRs (Detailed Seller Ratings) meet certain criteria with at least 100 transactions in the last 12 months. For complete requirements visit ebay Top-rated Seller Requirements.
ebay have made it super easy for you to lose your TRS status! The most common way is by receiving low DSRs. You get 3 low DSRs (1 or 2 stars) OR more than 0.5% of your transactions and you’re out! If you think receiving 3 low DSRs in a year is hard to get, think again! You WILL get demanding, non-understanding buyers or you actually make mistakes putting your buyer in a bad mood. Even you’re likely to receive positive feedback with low DSRs from some buyers.
Once you get passed the 100 transactions mark, you’re good to go if you keep selling. So that requirement will not be a problem after that. It’s the DSR that can bite you anytime. However, I have the solution. As you see above, the criterion is to get no more than 2 low DSRs OR less than 0.5% of the transactions. So no matter how many low DSRs you get, if the number of low DSRs is less than 0.5% of the number of transactions, you meet the criteria.
The higher the number of your transactions, the more protected you are against low DSRs.
Any seller who is serious about retaining TRS status, should consider increasing the number of transactions. This can be done in a variety of ways. You can list more of the items you have available, you can buy low-cost items from garage sales or thrift stores and list them, or (this one is my favorite) you can list eBooks.
When listing eBooks, it’s even possible to sell free eBooks for a little profit and deliver them by email but the real benefit is that you’re increasing your transactions. This way of selling eBooks has to be done carefully. I expand on it in my newsletter.
Some sellers don’t realize that the effect of low DSRs can be neutralized by the number of transactions; myself one of them. I didn’t realize it until around 6 months ago. Until then, my only hope was that the pesky low DSR will fall off after the 12-month period is passed.
Then while I was talking to an eBay agent, he mentioned the criteria and I realized there’s an “OR” in there! I got back my TRS status by taking advantage of the “Number of Transactions”.
What’s your experience with low DSRs? Are you a Top-rated Seller or used to be? I’d love to hear your feedback in comments below.